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11 February 2012

Former Trinidad & Tobago PM flown to US after stroke

The need for air ambulances throughout the world to cover all eventualities has again come to light, this time in the Caribbean.

Patrick Manning, a former Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago was flown to a Washington DC hospital with a full medical escort, with a view to speeding along his recovery and amid concerns the drugs available in Trinidad were not working.

The 65-year-old former PM had suffered a stroke on January 29, and was presently being cared for in the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH), a hospital which was actually opened by Mr Manning himself in 1994.

The family of Mr Manning have thanked the hospital and all involved in their father’s care, but have raised concerns over the effectiveness of some of the treatments. However, the main reason for taking the decision to fly him to the US is for specialised physio and rehab therapy.

It is also widely believed that increasing media attention in the country were a reason for the medical evacuation.

The cost of the air ambulance for the Manning family is estimated at being $91,000 (£57,000).

Such a sum brings into focus just how important it is for UK travellers to ensure they have adequate travel insurance when visiting far flung locations. Both medical costs and repatriation costs can soar in the event of injury and illness, and there are often instances of Brits stranded abroad facing large bills.

Mr Manning’s stay in the US is expected to last for more than a month.